5.1.8 St Rose and St Catherine

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In 1923, St Rose and St Catherine were designed by Gill and built by Maxwell and two of his brothers-in-law (Philip and Bernard Baker).

It seems the first occupants of St Rose were two ladies – Miss Mott and Miss Hinde – these may have been teachers at the Guild school. From 1924 until 1959 the cottage was occupied by Joseph Cribb and his family.

St Rose today – recent years have seen the building extended to the left.

Regarding St Catherine In 1923 Pepler arranged for Rosa Waugh Hobhouse and her husband Stephen Hobhouse to move rent-free into this property (now called Brambleside) and so become its first residents. Rosa was a Quaker Christian socialist, peace activist and author who married Stephen (also a Quaker) in 1915. Stephen helped Hilary Pepler set up the working men’s club in Hammersmith, Hampshire House, during which he had become friends of the Peplers and also of Edward Johnston and his wife, Greta. The friendship lasted, notwithstanding the move of the Johnstons and Peplers to Ditchling and Stephen being imprisoned during WW1 as a conscientious objector. The Hobhouses lived there for almost a year while Stephen earned thirty shillings a week as copy editor at the St Dominic’s press.  In her unpublished memoirs, Rosa writes: “Among the members of the order was a builder and one of his thatched cottages was offered to us”.  When they moved in, there was no stove in the kitchen and they had to do all their cooking on an open hearth.

Their brief tenancy came to an end in early 1924 and Philip Hagreen moved in; many years later he recalled St Catherine as follows:

“The walls were bare brick, whitewashed and the floors downstairs tiled in red earthenware; the floors of the bedroom upstairs were of plain wooded boarding in which the boards had sunk to leave cracks wide enough to allow dust etc to fall into the rooms below. The roof was thatched and heating was by open fireplaces, the largest on the living room having its bread oven. The outside earth closet backed onto that of St Rose’.

When Hagreen moved to Capel-y-ffin later 1924, the property was taken over by David Pepler and his wife Betty who was Gill’s daughter. In due course they moved to Billingshurst to farm. This was not long-lived though, as David dies tragically of tuberculosis, aged 29. A later resident of St Catherine was Dunstan Pruden.


Estate agents particulars of St Rose